Daylight saving time: Helpful or harmful?

Sonny Long

March 14, 2010 at 11 p.m.
Updated March 14, 2010 at 10:15 p.m.

When most of America sprang forward at 2 a.m. Sunday, the eight-month change to daylight saving time began.

The debate over the advantages and disadvantages of the change has gone on since Benjamin Franklin first suggested it in 1784.

It was first used during World War I to save energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October.

The energy-saving measure was on again, off again for several years until in 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act that standardized the length of daylight saving time.

The Energy Policy Act in 2005. extended daylight saving time by four weeks, beginning in 2007, from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November with the hope that it would save 10,000 barrels of oil each day through reduced use of power by businesses during daylight hours.

Two states - Arizona and Hawaii - and four U.S. territories - American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands - don't observe daylight saving timeThe Web site cuts to the chase of the daylight saving time debate: "If we are saving energy, let's go year round with daylight saving time. If we are not saving energy, let's drop daylight saving time."

Related stories:

PRO: Daylight saving time creates more usable hours

CON: Daylight saving time doesn't reduce energy consumption



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